Friday, 26 December 2014
Monday, 8 December 2014
In light of the increasing complexity of mobile networks and associated spectrums, 4G LTE; 5G Semiconductors service extends the segmentation of 4G LTE mobile devices and related chips to reflect on the evolution of 4G LTE across various paths, including FDD LTE, TDD LTE, multimode FDD-TDD LTE and network generations including LTE Classic and LTE-Advanced.
The extended segmentation has been made to take into account the transformation in the mobile 4G LTE market, notably the emergence of LTE Carrier Aggregation (LTE CA).
One of the aims of the service is to evaluate the market potential for various multi-stream intra-band and inter-bands LTE CA combinations across all licensed and unlicensed LTE bands. This 4G LTE; 5G Semiconductors service will also assess dynamics of the mobile industry as the technology moves towards 5G. The service will keep track on how all these changes will impact the typical characteristics of each chipset and device segment, including:
• Assessment of key enabling technologies, mainly these related to the baseband, radio transmission, and RF upfront components
• The cost associated with implementing these technologies
• Constraints of implementing new technologies on both the reference design and the industrial design of the device
• Assessment of the most popular LTE/5G implementations and how these implementations could impact device economies of scale
• The impact of technology disruption on legacy frameworks
A special focus will be dedicated to enabling baseband and radio technologies, including the various modulation and multiplexing technologies used, antennae technologies including MIMO, Diversity, and Smart Tuning, Power Amplifiers and Envelope Tracking, and User Equipment specifications.
Work on new technologies that will form the foundation of 5G standards has been occurring for the last few years; however, the formal standards process has just begun.
A range of major vendors are working on all aspects of 5G including; Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia Networks and device, semiconductor, and IP vendors including Intel, InterDigital, Qualcomm, Samsung, various mobile operators, academic bodies, and start-ups as well.
"These companies are all waving their 5G flags, although 5G definitions and visions remain very vague," commented Research Director Philip Solis. "But this is not merely marketing. These companies are most certainly putting a stake in the ground with regards to contributions to 5G that will leverage their work, competitive strengths, and most crucially, patents."
Some highly influential companies, such as Qualcomm, have remained quiet until recently about their vision and plans for 5G. Meanwhile, more companies, previously not very involved with standardization efforts are putting their hands up. Apple's involvement with the NGMN 5G Initiative is a perfect example, as is Google's acquisition of Alpental—even if Google might only use a 5G or 5G-like air interface to augment fibre-to-the-home deployments with a combination of fibre-to-the-curb and 5G.
These companies are working together so the standardization process can hit the ground running. They are doing their own work, forming alliances with universities and other companies, and hedging their bets by partaking in different research projects that focus on different parts of the network and air interface, in an effort to dictate the direction of 5G.
"Expect efforts to get intellectual property into standards to be fiercer than with 4G, but naturally much of the existing IP will be in play as well," added Solis. "More companies learned the importance of having a fair amount of IP with 2G and 3G, so the 4G playing field evened up a little. This trend will continue with 5G."
Companies should also move beyond sometimes vague marketing and generalizations around 5G and the IoT and create more definitive messaging around how technology will improve specific applications. They need to better describe how waveforms and modulation schemes best apply to increasingly mixed-use traffic. This can only help them with more brand building and influence in the standardization process. These findings are part of ABI Research's 4G LTE; 5G and 4G LTE and 5G Semiconductors Market Research.